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Two Wayne County men arrested on fraud charges in sale on Facebook

Paul Johnson Jr., left, and Donovan Dorelle Dewitt (Wayne County Sheriff's Office photos)

GOLDSBORO, Wayne County - The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has arrested two men on fraud charges involving a transaction on Facebook.

Paul Johnson Jr., 47 of 802 Pou St. in Goldsboro, and Donovan Dorelle Dewitt, 30 of 604-C . Holly St. in Goldsboro were each arrested and placed in the Wayne County Detention Center under $12,000 bonds. Both were charged with one count of felony larceny, one count of felony obtaining property by false pretenses, possession of five or more counterfeit instruments and forgery of instrument.

In a press release from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the two men were involved in a transaction that began on Facebook on March 10. The victim in the incident reported he was selling a 2002 Honda CR125 Dirt Bike on Facebook. The victim said Johnson agreed to buy it and wanted to meet at the Food Lion in Princeton.

The victim said Johnson didn't show up but arranged another meeting at another location on Hwy. 70 in Wayne County. During that transaction, a second person, later to be identified as Donovan Dewitt, gave the victim a bag containing the cash for the dirt bike. Johnson and Dewitt loaded the bike onto a truck and sped off as the victim discovered the cash was counterfeit.

The victim attempted to follow the truck but lost it as they traveled towards Goldsboro. The victim located Johnson's address, called law enforcement and reported the fraud. During the call to law enforcement, the victim located Johnson driving the same truck on Ash Street. The victim remained on the phone and gave officials information that led to a brief chase. Johnson wrecked his truck at the intersection of Leslie Street and Chestnut Street.

Johnson and a female ran from the scene and both were apprehended.

The victim identified Johnson at the scene to the police officers as one of the men that had defrauded him. The victim turned over the counterfeit money he had received from Dewitt to Goldsboro Police. Officials also found additional counterfeit currency in Johnson's truck

Warrants were obtained for Johnson and Dewitt, who was later arrested.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office would like to advise those selling or buying from sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace (or the numerous Facebook Yard Sale sites). They can ask those they're conducting business with to meet them at a law enforcement facility parking lot. If the individual is not willing to meet you in a parking lot of a law enforcement facility, this may be a clue for you not to conduct your business with them. At a minimum, you should insist that a seller/purchaser meet you in a public place, preferably one with video surveillance.

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